Medallion quilt: A quilt designed with a central block or motif, surrounded by multiple borders. Borders may be plain, elaborately pieced or appliqued, or a combination of plain and fancy on the same quilt.
Medallion quilts have been made for at least three centuries. Broderie perse quilts, popular in the United States in the early 1800s, often were made with a central motif surrounded by borders of chintz applique. Vases of flowers and swags of ribbon were popular additions.
Contrast that lavish design with an Amish diamond in a square, made in solids of as few as three colors. The flexibility of the format allows for the full range.
Across my quilting life, I’ve made dozens of medallion quilts. Most of them were by myself, though a few were in round robins. Except the round robin quilts, I designed and pieced all of them myself. I also quilted all except the first one.
The one that started it all:
A bed quilt for a granddaughter. One of the first quilts I ever made. The longarm quilter asked whose pattern I used. I didn’t even know what she meant. I didn’t know you could buy patterns. I designed it myself. Made in about 2009.
Here are some more of my favorite medallion quilts, presented with the most recent at the top.
Christmas Is Coming! 67″ x 67″. December 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Black Sheep Manor. Approx 58″ x 58″. September 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Dizzy. 60″ x 60″. September 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Fire & Ice. Approx 68″ x 68″. Based on IQSC Object Number 1997.007.0797 from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, a quilt from 1800-1820. May 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Hibiscus Mountain. 73″ x 73″. Delectable Mountains format. Finished spring 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Kim’s Bright Garden. 71″ x 71″. Finished March 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Untied. Hand-quilted. Summer 2016. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Moonlight Waltz. 2016. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
The Big Block Quilt. 84″ square. February 2016. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Back of the Big Block Quilt. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Beth’s Carousel. January 2016. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
The Mountain. 60″ square. November 2015. Made from stash. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Branching Out. 45″ x 54″. Finished July 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Branching Out back. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
I Found the Housework Fairy But She’s Not Coming Back. 35″ square. Finished June 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Marquetry. 87″ square. Finished May 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Garden Party. 62″ x 68″. Center panel by Julie Paschkis for In the Beginning Fabrics. Finished March 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
Stained Glass Too. 66″ x 70″. Finished March 2015.
Stained Glass. 40″ square. Finished February 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
XX’s Quilt. 75″ x 75″. Begun with a medallion print purchased in Boulder City, NV. Finished in February 2015.
The Flip Side. 64″ x 76″. Finished December 2014.
Flip side of The Flip Side. 64″ x 76″. Finished December 2014.
For Son. 68″ x 68″. November 2014.
Southwestern Sun. 60″ square. Finished September 2014. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
African Star. 42″ x 44″. July 2014.
Bird On Point. 63″ square. Finished June 2014.
Bright Idea. 60″ square. Finished June 2014.
My Harlequin Medallion. 55″ x 50″. Finished April 2014.
The Baby’s quilt, 46″ square. Finished February 2014.
This is the back of The Baby’s quilt.
Sparkle, made using Medallion Sew-Along Track 1. 48″. Finished January 2014.
Medallion Sew-Along finish #2, the Big Blue and Brown. 2013. About 85″.
Medallion Sew-Along finish #1. 2013. About 52″.
The Mexican embroidery quilt. A “round” robin with my sister, finished in 2013. About 55″.
Triangles. Round robin with my small group. 2013. About 40″.
My own quilt, finished August 2013. It’s about 73″ square.
A wedding quilt, about 78″ square. February 2013.
Extra-large lap quilt for my husband Jim, made in late 2012. It’s about 69″ square. 2012.
The red and white challenge quilt, also known as the hunger quilt. A friend “purchased” it from me, giving the price to a local food pantry. It’s about 70″ square. 2012.
Mock-Amish bed quilt, wedding present. the center is Disappearing Nine-Patch.
One of the first quilts I made, this is a table mat or wallhanging. I think of it as mock-Amish, and I still enjoy the graphic contrasts.